Words of Faith 6-5-2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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When the dew settled on the camp at night, the manna also came down.
 Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance to his tent. The Lord became exceedingly angry, and Moses was troubled.  He asked the Lord, "Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me?  Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers?  Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, 'Give us meat to eat!'  I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.  If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now--if I have found favor in your eyes--and do not let me face my own ruin."
 The Lord said to Moses: "Bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you.  I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.
I was recently recalling the time when, in a matter of four weeks, the fourth hurricane was bearing down on our county in Florida. I was wanting to know where I might file a complaint! Exactly where is the Lord’s complaint department?
We man have been feeling some of that in recent months. The year began with great hope and talk of vision. Suddenly, there was a worldwide pandemic. There was huge economic turbulence and job loss. Then terrible injustices exposed and… riots in the streets. Of course, now, in Florida, it is the beginning of the hurricane season.
I usually snap out of the complaining spirit when I read about conditions in other countries. Even with a third storm upon our area and a fourth to strike our state, I had to give thanks to the Lord for His protection. We have rarely seen devastation in the way other parts of the Caribbean have.
Our text for today points out that complaining is generally not a good strategy. When the Israelites wailed, it was because the provision of the Lord did not meet their taste! The manna was not spicy enough! They wanted meat like they remembered from the time of slavery, and the Lord became angry with the people. And Moses was at his wit's end.
I love this passage because it is so very human. Moses, the greatest of all Prophets, complained to the Lord, not because of the flavor of God’s provision, but because of the burden of working with such whiny people. In essence, he says that he would rather die than go on like this.
There was a very good reason for this. Moses was never intended to carry the burden alone. It had been the Lord’s intention that other leaders would also have the Spirit of God and stand with Moses in leading the people. This was the exact plan that the Lord had revealed to Moses at the beginning of the journey in Exodus 18, but somehow, they had gotten away from it.
There is a powerful message here about complaining and an even more important one about leadership. First, we need to see what a huge burden it is on leaders when we complain. Most leaders will tell you that they have the energy to work tirelessly, but when people start complaining, it is an immense burden. It is the one thing that makes leaders want to quit.
It is so easy to join in with those who complain. It is an easy path and such a destructive one. The answer is to join in as one of those who lead! There will always be complaints and complainers. But there is also the opportunity to receive the Spirit of God and be a part of those who share the burden rather than increase it. Become part of the solution. This is God’s plan.
The truth is that in every church and ministry organization, there are opportunities to complain. Some difficulties and needs come along with hard decisions and tough situations. It is the easiest thing in the world is to complain. We can easily point to another church in another time that did things “better” or “smarter.” The truth is that those situations only saw victory when the leaders overcame the burden of the complainers, which happened through leadership. Tough situations present an opportunity for faith and growth, and people come together by the Spirit of God.
Are you a complainer or a leader? You might say, "I am only a follower," but you are a leader if you listen for the Spirit of God and join in with God's leaders to help ease the burden.
Father God, help me to have an ear for Your Spirit. Give me a view that is bigger than my own. Help me to see the bigger picture of what You are doing. Show me how to lift the burden that is upon leaders and be part of the victory. Most of all, teach me to trust You more and more each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2004, 2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.